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Blogging and Niche Marketing

Updated on February 27, 2013

Blogging - A New National Passtime

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Is Finding Your Niche Important?

Blogging has become a national pastime. The term weblog was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997 A couple of years later a guy named Peter Merholz shortened it to blog. A blog consists of articles called posts, and the subject can be anything that the writer wants to write about. A person who writes blogs is a blogger, and the act of writing blog posts is called blogging.

This article is about blogging and questions a lot of conventional wisdom about finding a niche for yourself. A niche, as used here, is defined as "a situation or activity specially suited to a person's interests, abilities, or nature."

Anybody can create a blog. Some writers blog because they just love to post articles about things they find interesting. If a thought pops into your head, go ahead and write a blog post on it. Some people blog to call attention to themselves or their organization as an authority on a subject, and hence use blogging as a marketing tool known as blog marketing. Whether working in a niche or writing as a generalist, the key is this: content is king.

Should you "Find Your Niche"? It Depends on Why You're Blogging.

Anyone who has a blog or writes online on sites such as HubPages or Squidoo, is besieged by emails promising vast riches from the Internet. All you have to do, so these sites promise, is to find a niche and blog like crazy in that niche. Overnight, we are told, we can become "Internet millionaires." Who knew? Find a niche and others in that niche will seek you out. Concentrate your focus and success is at your doorstep. Now, to be sure, there are a lot of well written and highly informative articles and blog posts that advocate niche marketing. The idea of narrowing your focus is not, in and of itself, a bad idea. The problem with this idea is that it is touted as the basic principle for creating a blog. If you narrow your focus you will become a brand. Maybe.

Are You a Writer? Do You Love to Write for the Sheer Pleasure of the Activity?

Anyone who has been around for a few years has picked up a lot of information on a wide range of topics. Any writer will tell you that, as they begin to write, they are amazed at the amount of knowledge that they draw out of their own experiences. Writers love this experience and that's why they keep writing. Should such a person "find a niche"? Let's look at a few attributes of writers who write for the joy of it, which by no means excludes the idea of making money from writing.

· You have experience in a wide range of interests and disciplines.

· You enjoy writing about all of your experiences, not just one or two.

· You are less interested in creating a brand for yourself as an expert than as a writer who knows how to engage the audience on any topic.

· You get bored writing about just one thing.

Do you write for a focused niche?

See results

If the attributes above describe you, it may be a waste of time trying to find that holy grail of Internet marketers - the niche. This does not mean that you can't make money. Once you have a following of people who enjoy reading what you have to say, you will find that your niche is "good writer." Joe Nocera, for example, a columnist for the New York Times, writes on a wide array of subjects from politics to the intricacies of college sports. I read him, as do many others, because I know I will be treated to excellent well researched information set forth in a readable column. George Will, the nationally syndicated columnist, is mainly known for his articles on politics, but he also writes about baseball, family, human events and just about anything that pops into his head. No matter what he writes about, I love reading his work. The same goes for bloggers. There are some blogs I will read because I know they will be well written and informative.

Using a blog to build a brand

Who Should Write for a Niche?

There are bloggers who concentrate on a narrow area, a niche, and do quite well. They are often recognized experts on their area and are recognized as such. Question, how many of these folks already possessed a branded niche before they started blogging? There's no way to answer that question, but I would wager that most recognized niche bloggers were already recognized, and emphasize it in their biographies. Here are just a few examples of bloggers who write within a narrowly defined niche, and are smart to do so.

· You're an intellectual property lawyer and you write a blog all about patent, trademark and copyright law aimed at fellow lawyers in the hope that they will refer cases to you. This niche makes sense.

· You run a auto supply company that specializes in hard to find auto parts. You decide to write a blog on this subject alone and target car collectors. This is intelligent niche marketing.

· You have just started a website design business. With so much competition out there, you decide to write a blog and give away tons of valuable information to people, thereby establishing yourself as an expert.

· You're an independent book editor. To establish yourself, besides your biography, you create a blog with writing tips.

The above examples are all about branding. If you're looking to establish yourself as a brand, other than just as a writer, a niche is a must.


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Content is King Whether You Have a Niche or Not

Google has driven a lot of internet marketers and bloggers crazy with its tweaking of its search algorithm. The reason Google keeps changing its search algorithm is because so many Internet marketers, as well as bloggers, have learned how to game the system. Google began with a simple mission and it hasn't changed: to provide RELEVANT search results. To the extent the searcher is delivered irrelevant crap because some enterprising dweeb tried to fool the system by creating tons of nonsense websites laden with popular search terms, is the extent to which the searcher will lose faith in Google.

To get started blogging your best bet is to get a free blogsite at wordpress.org. Caution, take some time to learn how to use Wordpress. It's amazing software but it comes with a learning curve. If you are new to writing or haven't written in a long time, take a refresher course online. Proofread and amend your post before you make it live. You do not want to be typecast as a person who can't express ideas in writing, no matter how good they are.

Copyright ©2012 by Russell F. Moran

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A very good summary of the blogging world. I'm not sure if I'm a niche writer at all, but I do know that content is king no matter what the classification you are. Good job!

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Thanks for a fine article offering a fresh perspective. I've read a lot of material promoting the "find your niche" mantra as the key to online writing success, and I've killed a lot of brain cells trying to decide what my niche really is. Having read your hub, I think I'll just go with "good writer" and plow ahead. Thanks again, Russ...voted up, interesting, useful.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks Mike. "good writer" is a great niche!

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks for your input Bill. You're a perfect example of someone who is not a niche writer, just a very good writer.

    • Armchair Builder profile image

      Michael Luckado 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Nice hub. I think I'm a niche writer...or one trick pony...whatever you want to call it. Building is my passion and writing just happens to be one of the ways I communicate it.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Building and remodeling is a great niche Mike, and you have the expertise to brand yourself with it. I'm now following you, me who can't drive a nail straight.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Building and remodeling is a great niche Mike, and you have the expertise to brand yourself with it. I'm now following you, me who can't drive a nail straight.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I've been blogging for more than ten years. Keeping a focused niche works better but it's pretty easy to stray. Some straying is good. It gives you an open mind, keeps things fresh so you don't burn out. But, if you stray too far you tend to get lost.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      One advantage of finding a niche is it helps focus your abilities -- rather than spreading them out too thin and trying to all things to all people, you develop expertise and demand in a specialized subject. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      That Grrl - I wish I could find a narrow niche, but I seem to be a generalist.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks Alocsin. I think I have a few niches, like a jack of all trades but master of none.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      I just ran across this article and was very impressed with your knowledge. After some time on HubPages I am finally preparing to take the leap into blogging. I have been struggling with how niche-focused to make the blog and your article has certainly been helpful in adding to the train of thought.

      Thank you for your assistance! I am sharing this article - I'm sure that it can help out many others.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks Robert, I'm glad you found the hub useful. I really think a lot of people are put off blogging because they don't have a natural niche.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Russell, I started a blog but mainly just reposted links to hubpages from it - I don't have anough talent to have a niche but I admire those who are blogging and making a good living from it - we'd all love that I guess. Oh well, I'll keep plodding on her on HP writing about whatever I fancy!

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks Jools. Keep on hubbing!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Russ. Like others here, I wish I could identify a narrow niche and target group to write for -- especially when it comes to publishing a money-making blog. But in writing, as in life, I'm too much of a generalist. I enjoyed reading your article and gave it a thumbs up.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Generalists Rule Annette!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi rfmoran,

      I believe finding ones niche is important and especially if you have expertise in a given field. When it comes to blogging, niche can help a blogger to develop audience quickly and eventually increase followers. Useful article you have here. Voted up and shared.

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks Danson. Although I have a natural niche I find that being a generalist can allow for more creativity.

    • phildazz profile image

      Allan Philip 4 years ago from Toronto

      Thanks for a great article and foundation on blogging!

    • rfmoran profile image
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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks four comments!

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